University of Notre Dame

Physical Methods in Art and Archaeology

Course Number: PHYS10262
Instructor: Ani Aprahamian

A course that gives an overview of the various physics-based analysis and dating techniques used in art and archaeology. The course will cover topics such as X-ray fluorescence and X-ray absorption, proton-induced X-ray emission, neutron-induced activation analysis, radiocarbon dating, accelerator mass spectroscopy, luminescence dating, and methods of archeometry. Multiple examples of the use of the techniques in art and archaeology will be given, e.g., under X-ray techniques and accelerator mass spectrometry, the analysis of ancient coins and violin varnish and the Iceman and the Turin Shroud are used respectively as examples. Physics principles of the methods and techniques will be taught in a descriptive manner.